Skip to main content

Peter Kochunov, PhD, MS, MSEE, DABMP

Academic Title:

Adjunct Professor

Primary Appointment:



University of Maryland Center for Brain Imaging Research

Phone (Primary):


Education and Training

  • The University of Perm, Russia, MSEE, Control Systems, 1995
  • University of Louisville, MS, Physics, 1997
  • The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, PhD, Medical Physics, 2001


Dr. Kochunov is a board-certified MRI physicist with over two decades of experiences in development of novel data analysis protocols with emphasis on the quantitative, multimodal analyses of genetic factors that are responsible for structural and functional variability. Dr. Kochunov has a background in neuroimaging, electrical engineering, software development and statistics. Dr. Kochunov has participated in development of many popular neuroimaging tools and formats including SOLAR-Eclipse, ENIGMA-Viewer, ENIGMA-DTI and ENIGMA-rsFMRI analyses pipelines, Talairach deamon, BrainMap, Mango and BrainVisa Morphologist, NFITI and others. Dr. Kochunov's research is described in over 150 scientific manuscripts, including some of the first manuscripts on heritability of white matter integrity, gray matter thickness, resting-state connectivity and others. 

Research/Clinical Keywords

Genetics. MRI. Schizophrenia.

Highlighted Publications

Kochunov P, Coyle TR, Rowland LM, Jahanshad N, Thompson PM, Kelly S, Du X, Sampath H, Bruce H, Chiappelli J, Ryan M, Fisseha F, Savransky A, Adhikari B, Chen S, Paciga SA, Whelan CD, Xie Z, Hyde CL, Chen X, Schubert CR, O'Donnell P, Hong LE. Association of White Matter With Core Cognitive Deficits in Patients With Schizophrenia. JAMA Psychiatry. 2017 Sep 1;74(9):958-966.

Kochunov P, Rowland LM, Fieremans E, Veraart J, Jahanshad N, Eskandar G, Du X, Muellerklein F, Savransky A, Shukla D, Sampath H, Thompson PM, Hong LE. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2016 Nov 22;113(47):13504-13509.

Kochunov P, Thompson PM, Winkler A, Morrissey M, Fu M, Coyle TR, Du X, Muellerklein F, Savransky A, Gaudiot C, Sampath H, Eskandar G, Jahanshad N, Patel B, Rowland L, Nichols TE, O'Connell JR, Shuldiner AR, Mitchell BD, Hong LE. The common genetic influence over processing speed and white matter microstructure: Evidence from the Old Order Amish and Human Connectome Projects. Neuroimage. 2016 Jan 15;125:189-197.

Kochunov P, Hong LE. Neurodevelopmental and neurodegenerative models of schizophrenia: white matter at the center stage. Schizophr Bull. 2014 Jul;40(4):721-8.

Kochunov P, Du X, Moran LV, Sampath H, Wijtenburg SA, Yang Y, Rowland LM, Stein EA, Hong LE. Acute nicotine administration effects on fractional anisotropy of cerebral white matter and associated attention performance. Front Pharmacol. 2013 Sep 18;4:117.

Awards and Affiliations

Associate Editor of Human Brain Mapping. 2016-Present

National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengeneering Edward Naggy New Investigator award. 2014

H. McGee Jarboe Award for Mental Health Research. 2013

Member of NIH NeuroImaging Format Committee. 2004-2008


Grants and Contracts

U01-MH108148 Kochunov, P (co-PI) 9/10/15-6/30/19                    

Amish Connectome Project on Mental Illness

The Amish Connectome Project (ACP) will extend the Human Connectome Project (HCP) to mental illnesses by characterizing brain circuitry and its relation to psychiatric behavior and symptom dimensions.


2R01EB015611 Kochunov, P (PI)              9/31/15-8/31/19               


This application will provide urgently needed analysis methods to the emerging field of imaging genetics. Our focus is to create SOLAR-Eclipse imaging genetics tools for classical genetic and epigenetic epidemiological analyses such as heritability, pleiotropy, quantitative trait loci (QTL) and genome-wide association (GWAS), gene expression, and methylation analyses using traits derived from structural and functional brain imaging


USAF/AFMC FA8650-11-2-6162                    8/1/2013-7/31/2018          


Dr. Kochunov is responsible for performing quantitative analysis of the structural and spectroscopic data collected as the part of this project. 

In the News

  • Study Selected for November 2016 OBESITY Editors’ Choice

    Press review of the research in brain response to hypobaria

    1. Killer at 70,000 Feet
    2. 'Mental-decline brain lesions' found in high-flying military pilots.
    3. Flying high-altitude spy planes tied to brain lesions.
    4. U-2 spy plane pilot lives on the edge – of space, danger and obsolescence.


Previous Positions

6/2016– Present  Tenured Professor. Department of Psychiatry, University of Maryland, School of Medicine.

6/2014– 6/2016 Tenured Associate Professor. Department of Psychiatry, University of Maryland, School of Medicine.

6/2011– 6/2014. Associate Professor Department of Psychiatry University of Maryland, School of Medicine.

6/2011– present  Professor (Adjunct).  Department of Physics, University of Maryland Baltimore County, MD.

5/2009 – 6/2011 Staff Scientist, Department of Genetics, Texas Biomedical Foundation for Biomedical Research (Adjunct)

8/2004 – 6/2011  Assistant Professor, University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, Texas

3/2001 – 8/2004  Instructor, University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, Texas